May 2022 Advocacy Update

Appropriations

The Fiscal Year 2023 appropriations season is moving full speed ahead this week with a continued series of hearings in both chambers. From now until May, House and Senate Appropriations Committees and Subcommittees will meet to consider the President’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget requests (and will hear from agency heads as well) as the Subcommittees begin drafting the 12 bills that will eventually come together to make up the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023. For a roundup of House hearings, click here. For Senate hearings, click here.

Small Business Remains a Priority for President Biden

The White House released a report, titled, The Small Business Boom Under the Biden-Harris Administration, which credits the Biden-Harris Administration for creating an advantageous environment for small business success and discusses the Administration’s next steps in supporting small businesses. View the full report here, some highlights include:

  • In 2021 5.4 million Americans applied to start their own small business
    • In particular, there has been a significant increase in the number of Hispanic-American small business owners over the past year
  • Businesses who employ under 50 individuals were responsible for creating 1.9 million jobs
  • Over $450 billion invested into the survival of small businesses in 2021 as a result of various emergency relief programs
  • Moving forward, the Biden-Harris Administration will prioritize expanding access to capital for small businesses, starting with providing $300 billion in loans and equity investments over the next ten years and leveraging resources in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

National Small Business Week Celebrates American Small Businesses

National Small Business Week took place May 2 – 5th, where the Small Business Administration (SBA) and small business organizations around the country celebrated American entrepreneurs and small businesses, the backbone of the American economy. To celebrate the week, the SBA hosted a virtual summit themed Building a Better America Through Entrepreneurship, with virtual events, which included a fireside chat with SBA Administrator Guzman, a conversation on how to grow your business, and global entrepreneurs sharing their success stories.

Notably, Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) introduced a resolution, S. Res 612 which recognized women-owned small businesses for National Small Business Week. 

House Small Business Committee Holds Markup

The House Small Business Committee passed the following legislation through by a voice vote. Next, these bills will be reported to the House of Representatives.

  • H.R. 7352, “PPP and Bank Fraud Enforcement Harmonization Act of 2022”
  • H.R. 7334, “COVID-19 EIDL Fraud Statute of Limitations Act of 2022”
  • H.R. 7622, “Small Business Workforce Pipeline Act of 2022”
  • H.R. 7664, “Supporting Small Business and Career and Technical Education Act of 2022”
  • H.R. 7670, “Women-Owned Small Business Program Transparency Act”
  • H.R. 5879, “Hubzone Price Evaluation Preference Clarification Act of 2021”
  • H.R. 7694, “Strengthening Subcontracting for Small Businesses Act of 2022”

Financial Service Bills Pass House of Representatives

The House of Representatives also recently passed legislation, including the following focused on employment opportunities at banks and credit unions and small business merger-and-acquisitions. Relevant bills are listed below but you may view a full list here

  • The Fair Hiring in Banking Act (H.R. 5911) will work to expand employment opportunities at banks and credit unions by reducing barriers to employment based on past minor criminal offenses. 
  • The Empowering States to Protect Seniors from Bad Actors Act (H.R. 5914) authorizes $10 million annually in appropriations for the Senior Investor Protection Grant Program for the period of 2023 – 2028, among other initiatives. 
  • The Small Business Mergers, Acquisitions, Sales, and Brokerage Act (H.R. 935) codifies an administrative action by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that exempts certain merger-and-acquisition brokers from securities registration requirements. 

Roe v. Wade

leaked Supreme Court draft opinion was released earlier this month that indicated the court may be preparing to overturn Roe v. Wade. In response, the Senate failed to pass a vote this week to codify Roe v. Wade into federal law. This was the first legislative attempt to enshrine a national right to abortion since the leak of the Supreme Court opinion. 

MBDA Receives $100 Million from Treasury

The Treasury Department will deploy $300 million in technical assistance through the State Small Business Credit Initiative, of which, $100 million shall be given to the Minority Business Development Agency. These funds may be used by the MBDA and its network of specialty and business centers to provide technical assistance to underserved entrepreneurs seeking greater access to capital and venture capital. 

Dr. Lisa Cook, First Black Woman Appointed to the Fed Reserve

The Senate has officially confirmed Dr. Lisa Cook to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Among her many accomplishments, she will be the first Black woman to sit on the board. Dr. Cook is an economics and international relations professor at Michigan State University, serves on the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s board of directors, and previously served on the White House Council of Economic Advisers during the Obama Administration. 

Public Comment on CRA Modernization

Federal regulatory agencies released a joint proposal seeking to update and strengthen current CRA regulations. Comments on the proposal are due before Friday, August 5th. The proposal seeks to modernize the regulations by accomplishing the following:

  • Expand access to credit, investment, and basic banking services in low- and moderate-income communities
  • Adapt to changes in the banking industry, including internet and mobile banking
  • Provide greater clarity, consistency, and transparency
  • Tailor CRA evaluations and data collection to bank size and type
  • Maintain a unified approach

Legislation on Ukraine Support… 

The House of Representatives passed a $40 billion package to send aid to the war in Ukraine. Amid mounting pressure from the Biden Administration to secure additional military, economic, and humanitarian aid for Ukraine before the current aid package expires next week, Senator Rand Paul blocked quick Senate passage claiming that more oversight of the spending is needed. The bill’s vote will be pushed until next week.

By Ashlyn Roberts, Prism Group

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